Installing carbonOS

Updated for 2022.3

These instructions are a quick guide to getting carbonOS installed and ready for testing.

System Requirements

Installing onto hardware

  1. Download the ISO Image
  2. Write the ISO to a USB flash drive, using dd, your OS’s disk utility, balenaEtcher, or similar software
  3. Boot your machine into the EFI firmware. Disable secure boot, and ensure that your USB drive has priority in the boot order
  4. Boot your machine from the USB drive
  5. Select “Try or Install carbonOS” from the menu. If you have at least 8GB of RAM, you can select the ramdisk alternative if necessary (i.e. if you need to remove the USB drive during installation)
  6. Once the system boots, select your language and follow the on-screen instructions until you get to the “Try or Install” prompt
  7. Select “Try”
  8. In the Demo session, open up a terminal and type out the command systemctl stop liveos-boot but don’t run it yet.
  9. Open up the installer (it’s pinned to the dash). Follow on-screen instructions until it starts installing.
  10. Wait for the installer to report that it’s “Copying Files…”
  11. Run the command you’ve typed out in the terminal, then accept the permission prompt that appears
  12. Installation should continue as usual, until the end. You may or may not receive an “Installation Failed” error, which is likely something you can ignore. Try to reboot
  13. If installation failed, try again. If it continues to fail, please reach out via #carbonOS on Matrix

Installing onto GNOME Boxes

  1. Use GNOME Boxes from Flathub
  2. Download the ISO Image
  3. Create a new virtual machine, and select the ISO image you downloaded
  4. Boxes will tell you that it couldn’t recognize the OS. In the list of OS options, select “GNOME OS”
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to finish creating the VM
  6. Start the VM
  7. Select “Try or Install carbonOS” from the menu
  8. Follow steps 6-13 of the “Installing onto Hardware” section

Installing onto VirtualBox

For the best experience & compatibility, I’d recommend testing carbonOS through GNOME Boxes. Running carbonOS on VirtualBox is possible, but there are known limitations:

If you want to try working around these issues, please join #carbonOS on Matrix and I’ll help you get it installed. Then I’ll write some proper instructions here.

Dual-boot, custom partitions, etc

These setups are not officially supported by carbonOS. However, if you’d like to use carbonOS in these scenarios anyway, you’ll need to follow the advanced installation instructions. Be warned that these instructions assume you have the prerequisite knowledge to manually manipulate Linux partitions, filesystems, and configuration.